>> Lanvin announced today that an anonymous European family holding company took a 12.5 percent stake in the company, ending a long quest by majority owner Shaw-Lan Wang to take the brand to the next level. The investment — thought to be on the order of about $37 million — is understand to be longterm, so don't expect the brand to change hands any time soon; LVMH's Bernard Arnault has been interested in recent years, but Wang is unwilling to give up majority control as Arnault would require.
“The company is really healthy. We only need to accelerate,” Lanvin EVP Thierry Andretta told WWD of the move. “We will be looking worldwide for great opportunities.” It is expected that the capital will help expand Lanvin's retail network, and if more funds are needed, the anonymous investor has the ability to inject more while still maintaining a minority share.
The CFDA and Vogue magazine held the sixth CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards ceremony last night at Skylight Studios, where Sophie Theallet beat out Alabama Chanin’s Natalie Chanin, Esquivel Shoes’ George Esquivel, Gary Graham, House of Waris’ Waris Ahluwalia, Monique Pean, Ohne Titel’s Flora Gill and Alexa Adams, Patrik Ervell, Spurr’s Simon Spurr and Wayne’s Wayne Lee. Theallet took home the grand prize—$200,000 and a year of mentorship by an industry veteran. Runners-up, Monique Pean and Patrik Ervell will each receive $50,000 and a business mentor.
Cathy Horyn for one feels Theallet deserved the honor, writing this morning, "Her clothes are not flashy or arty; she’s not everybody’s darling. But if you appreciate hand-done details like pin-tucking, if you like a certain friendliness in clothes, and if you’re surprised and delighted by non-generic reds and blues, then you are surely on Sophie’s side."
Albertus Swanepoel, Irene Neuwirth, Philip Crangi, Michael and Nicole Colovos, Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim, Peter Som, Lisa Mayock, Sophie Buhai, and Thakoon Panichgul were among the former fashion fund-ers who came out for the big night; joining Nicole Kidman, Francisco Costa, Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, and keynote speaker Alber Elbaz.
Tiny tots jump around in Rodarte, Givenchi, and Miu Miu in the current issue of Purple magazine, shot by Ryan McGinley.
Ridley Scott is finally ready to make that Gucci family film. Although it is too early to determine the cast, Scott does have a script "kind of getting there."
Zero + Maria Cornejo is launching a capsule collection of menswear for spring.
Adriana Lima and husband Marko Jaric welcome baby girl Valentina Lima Jaric.
Notable quotes from the International Herald Tribune Techno Luxury conference happening now in Berlin.
Aloha Rag's owner Tatsugo Yoda has designed a collection of deconstructed jackets and tops to be sold exclusively at his boutiques.
Alber Elbaz will be decorated with the Grande Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, given by the mayor to people who have made cultural impacts on the city of Paris.
Source: Ryan McGinley/Purple
>> Last night, with the help of keynote speaker Alber Elbaz, who doled out gems on the perils of success — "It's like a bottle of perfume. You smell it, you don't sniff it or drink it" — Alaia veteran and Michelle Obama favorite Sophie Theallet took home the 2009 Vogue/Fashion Fund prize of $200,000 and a year of mentoring. Fellow nominees Patrik Ervell and Monique Pean were named runners-up, and received $50,000 each plus a business mentor.
In her speech, Anna Wintour said that in addition to the US, Italy, and the UK — which just started a similar talent-nurturing program — she just met with the French minister of culture about mirroring the contest there. "And Brazil, India, Russia, and China aren't far behind."
"The money and the mentoring will help Ms. Theallet because she needs to be able to offer more range in her collection, as well as expand her production options. She has such a distinctly feminine eye, and the skills, that I’ve often wondered why a big retailer doesn’t ask Ms. Theallet to design some blouses and summer dresses for them, using the store’s resources and manufacturing connections."
>> Spring 2010 is a party for Alber Elbaz: tables were erected in the middle of the runway pre-show, with bow-tied waiters offering up puff pastries and fruity frozen cocktails with umbrellas as salsa music played in the background. Lanvin paper fans were placed on every seat.
With a neon chandelier as backdrop, Elbaz, who just recently returned from Argentina, served up jumpsuits and colorful pouf cocktail dresses — some accessorized with one glove. The collection, Elbaz said, was crafted almost entirely from man-made fabrics, and called it a look of "new minimalism." The elborately bold jewelry will surely be clamored for. As Style.com's Derek Blasberg put it, "If you judge a designer by the level of applause at his finale, Alber Elbaz is the best."
>> Karl Lagerfeld Responds to Rumors of Chanel Retirement —Yesterday evening, Cathy Horyn asked Karl Lagerfeld about the veracity of the rumors that he might be stepping down at Chanel and be replaced by Alber Elbaz of Lanvin: "Mr. Lagerfeld said to forget about it. He was going to die with his boots on. He also mentioned that Alain Wertheimer, whose family owns Chanel, said he would sell the house when the designer leaves. This might not be the case, Mr. Lagerfeld said, but it was a nice thing to be told." [On the Runway]
>> Alber Elbaz arrived in New York on Saturday to present Lanvin's Cruise 2010 collection, which is in categories based on needs — “men’s tailoring for women, capsules for traveling and weekend” — this morning. Another one of the needs the collection addresses? How to offer special clothes without the high price tags — hence the inclusion of tees starting at $119 and cotton dresses at $450. Alber said before that part of the collection was inspired by Damages; today he added Samantha Ronson to the list of influence.
Bazaar's Glenda Bailey brought temporary intern Tallulah Willis, who hugged the designer, to the presentation, and Alber chatted about how he worked through his recent birthday and is looking forward to a vacation: “I’m still trying to find that perfect spot. It used to be Asia. But now I’m looking all over Europe. But once you find a location, you can’t find a nice home. And once you find a nice home, you don’t like the interiors. You see, we’re very picky in this fashion industry.”
For cruise, Alber Elbaz showed off outfits that would suit Lanvin ladies on both holiday and beach occasions. Salable yet over-the-top with optimism these highly accessorized offerings will hopefully mean bright things for the Spring 2010 collection. Fall 2009 was serious and dramatic at Lanvin but if we know Elbaz, we know that he can't resist making a happy spring statement.
>> INSIDER WIRE —Despite rumors otherwise, it sounds like Alber Elbaz is happily situated at Lanvin for the long haul: the self-professed Project Runway fan created a new tailoring capsule collection for Lanvin's Cruise 2010 collection inspired by Glenn Close's power suits in Damages. The looks will be produced in the same Italian factories as Lanvin's menswear and mark Elbaz's expansion into a number of capsule collections for next season, including ranges of jersey, long dresses, bridal gowns, and dip-dyed cotton sportswear, as well as his denim line with Acne. [WWD]